On March 26, the Film Division had the pleasure to screen Eminent Scholar Rajko Grlic’s world-renown and multiple award-winning film, The Constitution, to christen the school’s new 4K projection system. Steve Ross, the Director of the Film Division, started the screening with a heartfelt and witty introduction. And, after the showing, there was a lively Q&A with Grlić, and the film’s co-writer, Ante Tomić.
The Constitution is a moving film, not void of comedic moments, about human relations. It is a tale of love and hate. One of how very different people living in the same building slowly begin to open up to one another, and, as a consequence of a misfortune, gradually learn to recognize the essential humanity present in each of them. Their lives entangle in ways that profoundly challenge deep-held beliefs and prejudices surrounding material status, sexual orientation, nationality and religion.
Grlić and Tomić confessed many secrets regarding the film during the discussion following the screening. For one, it was written to a small budget and to a specific location. For another, the story’s idea was conceived during a gay pride in Tomić’s home town, Split, when some citizens threw stones on the parade. They also admitted that Tomić leans toward a happy ending, which is usually modified to a less happy conclusion by Grlić. This was definitely reflected in The Constitution’s bittersweet ending.
These two creatives, the filmmaker (Grlić ) and the journalist/writer (Tomić ), have been working together for the past fifteen years and have produced four screenplays together. This level of collaboration and mutual admiration definitely showed during their Q&A. The two are currently working on their fifth screenplay, which is partly based on a famous Croatian novel from the 1930s, Miroslav Krleža’s On the Edge of Reason. This work continued during their visit to Athens. This collaboration, like their previous ones, should definitely lead to another essential movie by the writer duo and we eagerly await its arrival.
Rajko Grlić has produced twelve theatrical features. He made his first feature in 1974 in the former Yugoslavia, where he was an active filmmaker. In the aftermath of the civil war, Grlić had to flee the country. He and his family landed in NYC. He was then lured to Athens when the State of Ohio awarded him with the title of Eminent Scholar and has been carrying on his artistic work and giving his master class since 1995 at Ohio University. Grlićs’ film work exclusively takes place in Croatia. He has done documentary projects, TV series and narrative projects. His co-author, Ante Tomić, is a journalist and the best-selling Croatian writer for the last decade.